A couple of nurses smile down along with an older man with a steteoscope around his neck.

Impact Lives

Marcella M. Atwater, Ph.D., M.S., RN, PMHCNS-BC, CT

Adjunct Faculty
Benedictine MSN faculty member Marcella M. Atwater, Ph.D., M.S., RN, PMHCNS-BC, CT

Dr. Marcella Atwater has been actively involved in the nursing profession for more than 35 years and is a seasoned nurse educator and clinician. She completed her first Master’s degree in Community Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing from Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia and her second Master’s degree in Counseling from North Carolina Central University, Durham, North Carolina. Dr. Atwater earned her PhD in Education from Capella University, Minneapolis, MN. Her dissertation was titled “The Lived Experience of Bereaved College Students: A Hermeneutic Phenomenological Study.”

As an educator, Marcella has helped students understand a variety of subjects including Therapeutic Communication, Community Health Nursing, Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, Nursing Research, Role Development, Cultural Issues in Nursing, Pathophysiology, Leadership and Loss and Grief. In additionally to teaching a variety of courses in traditional and non-traditional programs, Marcella has taught both undergraduate and graduate students.

Marcella is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. Marcella is also certified as a Thanatologist (death, dying and bereavement) by the Association of Death Education and Counseling were she chaired the Multicultural Committee 2000 through 2002. As a grief therapist she helps grieving individuals and groups heal their pain and move beyond their grief. She has garnered tremendous praise for her articles “Victims, Delayed Responses” and “The Holiday Blues."